ridecamp@endurance.net: Re: white spot on back

Re: white spot on back

K S Swigart (katswig@deltanet.com)
Mon, 28 Apr 1997 17:42:13 -0700 (PDT)

On Mon, 28 Apr 1997 RUN4BEAR@aol.com wrote:

> I stick by my first statement...Sport Saddles CANNOT give support. Simple
> physics in my book...just WHAT part is giving support????

I can explain the physics of the "support" provided by a SS if you like.

> If you sit in the
> middle and the "support" parts are in front and in back of you..there is NO
> way the rigging between can provide support!!!

If the above statement were true, suspension bridges would not work.

I do, however, agree that the SS provides very little support (despite
manufacturer claims), since one of the other claims that they make (and I
have ridden in one, so I know this one to be true), is that you are
sitting on the horse's back and can feel the movement of the horse's back
through the saddle...which you can.

If you are sitting on the horse's back (when you are sitting) the saddle
is indeed, providing little to no support; however, when you are standing
in the stirrups, you are non longer sitting on the horse's back and indeed
the rigging does transfer the rider's weight to the front and back "trees"

What this means is that if you alternate between sitting and standing you
will be "distributing" the rider's weight by switching between having it
all on the horse's back and having it all on the "trees." (meaning
that your entire weight is on the horse's back for only half the

This is not MY definition of weight distribution (nor would it be for any
bridge builder). As a result, _I_ do not consider the SS suitable for
endurance riding for a rider who wants more weight distributive capability
from a saddle than you would get from a bareback pad if you were going
only half the distance (I do recommend it to people who would like to ride
in a bareback pad because they want to be closer to the horse, but would
like the stability of a saddle with cantle, pommel, and stirrups).

I might also recommend it to a lightweight endurance rider who could find
absolutely no other saddle that fit their horse (however, I have found,
despite manufacturer claims to the contrary, the SS is not a "one size
fits all" saddle).

> That does NOT mean they
> cannot work for some people and some horses. I just means what I said..they
> are NOT designed to provide support!!!

The fact is, different riders and different horses require differing
amounts of rigidity to their saddles. I consider a general rule of thumb
for endurance to be: "get as much rigidity you can while still keeping
the horse comfortable."

If you are a heavyweight rider with a horse that is impossible to put a
rigid saddle on comfortably, it just might be that you have an insoluable
problem (other than changing horses or loosing weight). Otherwise, your
only solution is to not ride this horse in long enough distances that
require weight distribution--which may mean not riding endurance at all
(ugh!!). Going slower does not help, because that just means that the
horse has to carry the undistributed weight for longer.

Orange County, Calif.

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